WILL AT LEAST FIVE GROUP MEMBERS COMMIT TO REVIEWING WITH ME THE PROPOSED REVISIONS TO THE RULES THAT APPLY TO OUR STATE LONG-TERM CARE OMBUDSMAN PROGRAM?
Here's the deal. Comments are due March 4 and while I frequently ask for your input on rules, THESE rules apply to the ONE AND ONLY advocacy program for residents that exists inside long-term care facilities: THE OFFICE OF THE LONG-TERM CARE OMBUDSMAN
IF YOU ARE WILLING TO COMMIT, WILL YOU EMAIL ME? We need people who have experienced a loved one living in a Texas long-term care facility (NH or ALF) or who live or lived in one themselves. Please do not volunteer if you live out of state.
This is a needed evaluation and update to the rules that addresses changes in the laws, in definitions, etc. and does some cleanup, as well as addresses some other things, much like we saw with the ALF rules. This is NOT an attack on the long-term care ombudsman program and the proposed rule changes are put forth through the advocacy lens of the Long-term Care Ombudsman Program itself.
However, these changes do appear to address SOME concerns that were put in front of the legislature last year by the industry when they proposed some very negative legislative changes to the program that were harmful to the residents. Not all the industry's proposals and concerns were negative and there are some earnest attempts in these rules to meet the facility needs without compromising the rights of our residents.
The background and summary at the beginning of the rules will outline the changes and help us understand the reasoning behind them.
Certainly, Genny Lutzel and I will be looking at the proposed rules but it does not need to be just US. Long-term care residents' FAMILIES NEED TO LOOK AT THEM, too. Obviously, more than a handful of us would be extremely valuable but if we can only get a few, that's fine. People work and have busy schedules so if at least a few families will spend some time taking a critical look at this important proposal, that will go a long way to making sure that nothing is too hard to understand, etc. and residents' rights are protected.
ONLY ombudsmen have the ability to mediate and advocate in areas where we family members have no access or expertise, when we are so emotionally invested that we are not in a good working relationship with our facility, when we have been shut down or shut out, or when solutions simply elude us. They work for health, safety, welfare, and rights of our residents and are BY FEDERAL LAW not advocates on behalf of facilities and not to be influenced by or have conflicts of interests with facilities.
Ombudsmen are a resource like none other because there is none other. So if you can make a commitment to review these rules and submit comments, we can even have a live group chat ahead of time if it will help.
Thank you for your advocacy! We are Texas Caregivers for Compromise and we are #notgoingaway!
Reminder. The Long-term Care Ombudsman Program does not serve our residents in: ICF, IDD, HCS programs, State Supported Living Centers. They are served by other but equally important ombudsmen programs. Links on the Texas HHSC web page.